Friday, March 28, 2008

Sympathy For The Devil

Please allow me to introduce myself.....

I am obsessed. I need your help. Never mind the Martin Scorcese film "Shine A Light" in the Beacon, New York City (coming to a movie theater near you soon). Never mind the current Rolling Stones hype. This is serious.

Which version of 'Sympathy For The Devil' really does it? There are several from which to choose. You have five versions below and I need your answers. I'm shit at linking so you'll have to make do with illegal YouTube stuff . Sorry, but a later update reveals that all the video has gone. You'll have to make do with just the music.

Which gets you going? Which is the best?

(1) Live
This does it for me. This is good. Stick with it. Gets great.
(2) Guns 'n' Roses remix
Nice video. I like this. Are you dancing yet?
(3) The Neptunes remix
This is very cool. I like this. Nice pauses. Horny.
(4) The Fat Boy Slim version
Fucking killer. Love it. You must be dancing by now.
(5) Classic
OK. This is the one. Knob Number Eleven. Top dollar. A bare torso. Stick-on transfer tattoos. Embarrassing the loved ones. And yes, that is John Lennon.
(6) And just because I want to, I've added this one from Get yer ya yas out. Because.

Which one do you like? And if you don't like any of them (then why are you this far down?) then link to one you do like pronto!

And who did kill the Kennedys?

I love you all.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Naked Celebrity Challenge

Naked slebs, huh? Britney, Lindsay, Keith, Demi. Oooooooh!
There's something about celebs with their kit off that drives people nuts. All that flesh. All those bits. Big bits. Small bits. Bits with bits on. Oooooh!
Except there's a large number of slebs that you really, and I mean really, don't want to see without their clothes. Or even a small part of their bits. Here's my Top Ten.
(in no particular order)

(1) Fiona Bruce. She reads the news. She's the no 1 male pinup for newswatchers. Very sexy. Even appeared on the BBC (Comic Relief) in some male fantasy costume. But no. Not naked.

(2) Ricky Tomlinson. Especially farting in character during the Royle Family and saying "My arse"

(3) Bruce Forsyth. Lovely, Didn't he do well?? Nice to see you, to see you....but not naked. Please. Too wrinkly, no toupe, just, well, no.

(4) Johnny Vegas. Ever. I'd unstitch the monkey first.

(5) Kate Moss. Just because you know what she'd look like and it wouldn't be anywhere near as exciting as her smoking a fag and getting paid to stagger out the Dorchester. And Pete Doherty, God forbid.

(6) Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It would just be wrong, wouldn't it?

(7) Tom Cruise. Well you'd be automatically converted to Scientology, wouldn't you? And that's not really worth it when you think about it. Because they're all a big happy religion out to save us all from ourselves. Or a bunch of crazy nutters hellbent on some insane plan that involves kidnapping innocent victims of their "personality tests" that they've been doing for years. Either way. Tom Cruise. No. Unless you're, um, the kind of person who appreciates the male body in all it's, um, beauty. Y'know what I'm sayin?

(8) Pamela Anderson. We've seen enough already. Ish.

(9) Heather Mills McCartney. Just say no.

(10) Simon Cowell. You could never look again, could you?

Plus lots of borderline cases like Cat Deeley, Bill Clinton, Quentin Tarantino, Bill Beaumont, most of my teachers at school (except the female ones), and possibly Michael Winner. Although I'm possibly past caring now....

Bottoms up!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who's f*cking who?

Whoever it was said that Americans or Hollywood or US TV or whatever had no sense of humour/ irony / self deprecation needs to watch this, the funniest thing I've seen in the last five minutes.


All hail the kings of comedy!


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Happy Snaps

Now, whenever someone writes about parking, you can generally guess that there's an aggrieved motorist venting some spleen, a grievance being aired, a problem being shared and embellished to prove one's innocence before the fine is grudgingly paid. But this one isn't about me. This is a little window into the London war on traffic.
Walking through Covent Garden today I watched a warden ticket a taxi. There's nothing really unusual in that nowadays, wardens will ticket anything that stays stationary long enough to slap a PCN on in order to meet their quotas. It's why I don't have a car. Taxis, buses, bikes, lorries unloading, ambulances, fire engines, gas board vans, vehicles for the disabled, small children and their trikes. All fair game.
You learn this after a while in London. The wardens don't care. They're not employed to care and they genuinely don't give a toss about you, the circumstances, anything. Just their quota of tickets for the day. End of.

But what was novel about this was that the taxi was on a taxi rank. I thought that's where they were supposed to be. But it still got a ticket. The driver appeared, a small stocky bloke from the same mould as Phil Collins in "Buster" and was, shall we say, a little put out.

The warden had already issued the ticket and was at the photographing stage. They have to do this because there are so many claims about so many badly issued tickets that the snapshots have become essential as evidence. Every appeal that I've made has been met with a flurry of photographic evidence, even a website with video.

The cabbie was annoyed. He'd been helping an elderly couple carry their bags. He wanted to know what he'd done wrong. The warden ignored him and carried on snapping.

Frustrated by the knowledge that an already written ticket cannot be taken back, (and the chances of winning on appeal are virtually zero) he was fired up and wanted an answer. "What" he demanded to know, "do you think I was doin???" The warden continued to ignore him.

Now, if you were that warden what might you have done? Explained the rules? Walked away? What? (I'm assuming that cabs mustn't be left unattended in ranks and that's what this was all about, but that's just a guess)
I tell you what I wouldn't have done. I wouldn't have walked up to the cabbie who was shouting at me and push my little digital camera into his face and take a close up snap. Because that might just send the cabbie over the edge.

Which it did.

He lost it. So the warden snapped him again. Right in his face. And this time, for good measure, he laughed at him. It was bizarre. The poor cabbie nearly imploded with rage. The warden, apart from his diligence with the camera, had his cap at a jaunty angle and looked as if he couldn't give a monkeys. Which rather made matters worse. He just slowly wandered around the cab, snapping away, getting some nice shots for the album, most of which seemed to include the cabbie.

As human fireballs go, it was pretty spectacular but good sense prevailed despite the provocation and it all ended quick enough, without any real violence, because there is no real point in shouting at a warden. They don't care, and this one especially had a degree in not caring. So Mr Justifiably Angry got back in his cab and made to drive off, still shouting at the warden.

So what does the warden do? Wave? Walk off? No. He goes up to the cabbie, laughs at him, points the camera into his face and takes another snap.
This time the cabbie turns bright red, jams on the anchors, leaps out the cab and wants to know if the warden is "enjoying himself" as he seems to be taking a lot of holiday snaps. He is right in the warden's face, backing him up against a lamppost. I would have put money on it coming to blows now.
Paradoxically, the warden seemed to be enjoying himself. You could tell by his laughter. He took more snaps. Of the cab. The restriction signs. The taxi rank lines. And, for good measure, just to be on the safe side, another one of the cabbie's purple face.
And then he laughed again and casually sauntered off.

The cabbie was defeated, humiliated, and facing a £60 fine for stopping his taxi. At a taxi rank. He got back behind the wheel, picked up a fare, (some poor innocent who was about to get his ear bent for the next ten minutes), and drove off. Wellington Street started to return to normal.

Funny old world. Innit?


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A dose of Salts

"Bradford. Home of Curry" could be the city motto, not just what everyone I know thinks. Bloody hell they can cook a biryani there. Even the mediocre is a step up from London and yes, we did have a mediocre one, but I were 'appy lad, after we'd sent back the raw naan to be microwaved, drank the wrong wine, and "paid through the nose" (ie ten quid a head) in a brightly lit gaff where the noise wasn't coming from the ambient buzz of a happy clientele, but the TV in the corner competing with the thud of the nightclub upstairs. Still, it tasted good.

It would probably be a good idea to ask David Hockney where he goes for a curry. He'd know, local boy made good, if you can describe Britain's Greatest Living Artist as being "made good". His works are a delight, from simple drawings to lithographs, photographic collages, to his brightly coloured renditions of life in Los Angeles, and his Opera Sets. And nowhere can you see his work better displayed than in Bradford, or to be exact, Salts Mill.

Salts Mill is the central feature of a World Heritage Site in Saltaire on the city's north western edge near Shipley which consists of a model village built in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt to house and generally look after the workforce of his wool and alpaca mill. It's a perfect little community, rows of workers' houses, a hospital, alms homes, a large community hall, now preserved and gentrified with little artshops and delis, a smart population and when I arrived at the weekend, a steam train charging through, presumeably on its way back to the last century.

Salts Mill itself is now a giant art gallery, shopping mall, and complex of live/work spaces which is like nothing else. The lofts of SoHo pale to this place with it's cast iron pillers, bare brick walls and heavy woodfloors, accommodating not just Hockney but a startling store called "Home" which sells the most covetable range of items I've seen outside the MoMA store in New York - principally because a large part of the stock seems to come from MoMa.

The gallery part has every book and print Hockney ever produced, plus a large number of original works, pride of place being given over to a magnificent oilwork of Saltaire itself in his signature oversaturated ochre and green (where did he get that green by the way?) riddled with childlike perspectives and broad, confident brushwork to create a cute but impressive masterpiece.

My favourite isn't there at the moment. He created a massive, nay awesome, multi-panelled painting (60 in total) of the Grand Canyon, America's greatest natural feature, in colours that made it his: purple, orange, bright green and yellow. A Bigger Grand Canyon was sold to Australia for millions, but it would be equally at home here in this oversized Hockney space. On the top floor, past the busy, buzzing restaurants and cafes, the florist and bookshop, Hockney's Opera sets sit in respectful silence. I'd only ever seen in photographs before but
even if you don't know nuffink about Opera (ie me) they too are a delight, a riot of graphic design, colours and characters which can be enjoyed in the quiet, like actors resting between productions, awaiting their next curtain call.

After a substantial, posh Sunday lunch in one of the city's better establishments, it would have been a fitting end to the weekend to have a little light curry. Unfortunately it was raining, and David Hockney wasn't answering his phone. So we had a doner kebab instead.